Organic Distribution & Retail Structure
The chart above is based on data from the Organic Trade Association. Sales of organic food have increased approximately 20% annually since 1990. The Organic Agriculture Centre notes similar trends in Canada and conservatively estimates annual sales of at least C$1 billion in 2006.
Mass market channels accounted for 46% of all organic foods sold in the US in 2005. An increasing number of supermarkets, wholesale clubs and distributors are introducing organic private label products, in addition to chains that specialize in organic and natural foods.
PDF version of Organic Industry Structure: Private Label Brands
Natural food chains including Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Wild Oats sold 23% of organic food in the US in 2005. Whole Foods has more than 80 new stores currently in development.
PDF Version of Organic Industry Structure: Retail Acquisitions and Mergers
PDF Version of Organic Industry Structure: Whole Foods and Wild Oats Locations
Distribution, particularly of processed organic foods, is dominated by United Natural Foods and Tree of Life.
PDF Version of Organic Industry Structure: Distributor Acquisitions and Mergers
In 1982 there were 28 consumer cooperative distributors. Today there is just 1.
PDF Version of Organic Industry Structure: Cooperative Distributors, 1982-2008.
PDF Version of Organic Industry Structure: Major Organic/Natural Foods Distributors, 2008
Network Animation of Organic/Natural Foods Distributors, 1982 - 2008
produced with SoNIA v1.2.0
Howard, Philip H. 2009. Visualising Food System Concentration and Consolidation. Southern Rural Sociology 24(2), 87-110. [PDF]